Advances in Recycling & Waste Management

ISSN: 2475-7675

Open Access

Effects of Electronic Waste on Developing Countries


Park JK, Hoerning L, Watry S, Burgett T, Matthias S

Although developed countries are currently producing large amounts of electronic waste (e-waste), the rate at which e-waste production is growing in developing countries is a major concern. The unsafe disposal of this e-waste is a growing problem and the environmental effects and human health hazards are very serious. A plan needs to be established to address this issue and in order to avoid these environmental and health consequences. This paper addresses the causes resulting in the exportation of e-waste to developing countries, the environmental and health effects resulting from this disposal, and possible mitigation strategies to address this growing environmental justice issue. Several recommendations are proposed. First, instead of trying to abolish the informal sector within these developing countries, it would be beneficial to take advantage of the collection network that the informal recycling sector has created. An incentive system will most likely be needed in order to establish the connection between the informal and formal recycling sectors. The informal recyclers will then be more willing to bring their collected e-waste to the formal facilities where it will be treated properly. Lastly, manufacturers and producers need to become more involved by implementing more successful take-back systems for their electronic devices so that they will be recycled properly at formal facilities that will mitigate the negative environmental and health impacts.


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